View Vacancy -- Junior Researcher - Biology NATA 1429
The Medical Research Council (part of UKRI) are currently launching a new initiative with a mission to unlock the potential of precision genetic medicines and speed up clinical developments.
This is an exciting opportunity to be part of establishing an internationally unique resource (NATA), drawing on world-leading academic expertise in partnership with innovative businesses to discover and test viable ways of delivering oligonucleotide therapies and anchoring the oligonucleotide therapy industry in the UK for many years to come.
The NATA will focus on bringing together key stakeholders around the infrastructure hub while catalysing collaborative R&D activity with focused support to tackle significant barriers facing oligonucleotide therapy delivery to key organs.
UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at www.ukri.org
MRC - 4
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
£31,602 - £34,443 per annum
Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator
The Medical Research Council (MRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), have invested a total of £30m over 4 years through the Strategic Priorities Fund to establish a nucleic acid therapy accelerator (NATA) that will support state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research to solve critical issues in nucleic acid drug delivery, through focused NATA research challenges and a NATA infrastructure hub. This will be an internationally unique resource, drawing on world-leading academic expertise in partnership with innovative businesses to discover and test viable ways of delivering oligonucleotide therapies, anchoring the oligonucleotide therapy industry in the UK for many years to come.
The NATA will focus on bringing together key stakeholders around the infrastructure hub while catalysing collaborative R&D activity with focused support to tackle significant barriers facing oligonucleotide therapy delivery to key organs. This investment will support capacity building in terms of equipment, upskilling and domain expertise that will be essential in developing critical mass to catalyse and de-risk the development of next generation nucleic acid medicines.
The NATA has the opportunity to establish a new industrial sector attracting and developing highly skill jobs with the potential of the UK being the leader in the field where global nucleic acid therapies market is expected to be £6 billion by 2025.
The Junior Researcher will be critical in supporting the NATA biology department by developing new techniques and methods related to the assessment of delivery, toxicity and efficacy of Acid Nucleic Therapeutics in multidisciplinary projects. This individual will be involved in the development of new techniques and methods for 1) the quantification and localization of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics after administration in vitro and in vivo, 2) the mechanism of uptake of New Nucleic Acid Therapeutic conjugates, 3) the assessment of clearance and pharmacokinetic parameters associated to Nucleic Acid Therapeutics. This position will also include biological validation of novel Nucleic Acid Therapeutics conjugates using already established protocols.
The post holder will manage the biology side of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics projects for various collaborations. They will report to the Head of department.
- Undertake research aiming at developing new approaches for Nucleic Acid Therapeutics evaluation and characterization
- Identify, develop and apply a broad range of techniques to pursue the research objectives
- Take a proactive approach to learning and implementing new techniques and approaches applied to Nucleic Acid Therapeutics
- Introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of disciplines and have the creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches and methods where required
- Ensure the research is carried out in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local policies and legal requirements
- Contribute to the smooth running of the group, including the effective use of resources, training of others and taking responsibility for use of communal facilities
- Enhance your research and generic skills through a tailored development programme
- Design experiments with proper controls, consideration of power and in the case of pre-clinical studies 3Rs and ARRIVE guidelines
- Perform the screen, hit validation and toxicology assessment of several classes Nucleic Acid Therapeutics according to standard protocols
- Optimize existing methods and protocols related to the screen, hit validation and toxicology assessment of several classes of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics
- Research and establish new techniques and methods for quantification and localization of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics after administration in vitro and in vivo
- Research and establish new mechanism of uptake of Novel Nucleic Acid Therapeutic conjugates
- Research and establish new techniques to understand clearance and pharmacokinetic parameters associated to novel Nucleic Acid Therapeutics
- Troubleshoot and maintain analytic procedures and equipment
- Record and well document experimental plans
- Keep secure and well-organized and contemporaneous scientific records
- Analyse and report data to the Head of the Department (verbal and written reports)
- Write and submit manuscripts for publication with the Head of Department
- Present work internally and at national and international meetings
- Contribute to lab meetings
- Maintain a good knowledge of the relevant literature and of the wider field and actively promote this to the group
- Work effectively with collaborators
- Manage Research Assistant on specific projects
- Effectively manage resources
Essential selection criteria
- Hold a relevant Ph.D/D.Phil in biology, pharmacology, toxicology or a related discipline
- Experience in one or more of the following areas:
- RNA sequencing
- Single cell sequencing
- Preparation of histology samples (including cells/tissues using H&E, in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry)
- Fluorescence/confocal microscopy and image analysis
- Cell sorting and/or FACS analysis
- In vivo modelling including the administration of drugs via multiple routes
- conventional and advanced cell culture approaches with cell lines and primary cells.
- cell-based screening assays such as ELISA, luciferase, fluorescence and western and northern blotting
- high throughput cell-based screening assays
- Experience in one or more of the following areas:
- Peer-reviewed research publications commensurable with career stage
- Broad scientific knowledge including pharmacology, toxicology, pathology, physiology and biochemistry.
- High level of creativity and independence in developing innovative analysis methods and solving complex problems
- Experience and knowledge of data analysis and interpretation
- Experience of managing biology projects and resources
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Ability to analyse data in the literature and place their own work in the context of work in the field
- Passionate about collaborative working and building relationships to reach common goal
- High level organisational skills, with the ability to manage a broad range of jobs simultaneously and under pressure.
- Capable of critical thinking
- Working and adhering to standard operating procedures and experience of process analysis and refinement
- Organised, hard-working with a strong eye for detail and is able to work as part of a team
- Demonstrate ability to mean milestones
- Flexible and adaptable, able to manage changing priorities
Desirable selection criteria
- Postdoctoral experience is an advantage
- Interdisciplinary skill with an emphasis for chemistry/pharmacology, especially with quantification methods and nucleic acid/protein interaction characterization
- Experience of the analysis of oligonucleotides; quantification, localization, stability
- Fundamental knowledge in gene transcription, protein translation, RNA splicing and the regulation of gene expression
- Knowledge of nucleotide structure and modifications
- Experience with organ systems such as cardiovascular, CNS, respiratory and musclo-skeletal
- Experience of large data set analysis
- Line management experience
The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.
Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.
Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.
UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.
We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.
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